Doulaing

The act of educating, loving, respecting, listening, embracing, advocating for, and assisting a person prenatally, during labor, childbirth, and after.

Danina Avery, CD, CBE (DTI), Breastfeeding Counselor

Prenatal

Expecting people need to feel confident and supported. Having an informed birth leads to a more joyful and less stressful occasion. A doula can be their confidant for any doubts, fears, or even strange questions. Many care providers are running from patient to patient and don't have the time to sit down and have a conversation and provide a thorough response to every patient's question. A doula would make the time to have an open conversation with their client and answer any question they may have, with evidence-based research and without judgement, regardless of how serious or silly the question may be.
I also teach childbirth education classes and can provide them prenatally in a classroom or private setting.

Birth

Usually, especially for a first-time parent, birth is an unknown experience, and the unknown can sometimes be scary. A doula understands that although births happen every second around the globe, to an individual woman who has never gone through that experience, it can be a life-altering event. Having someone there during labor, continuously providing support, makes a world of a difference when a birthing person and their partner are feeling lost within the birth world. And even if they aren't, having someone with knowledge of different positions, movements, and being able to provide a calming presence can change your whole view on your birth experience.
As a birth doula, I love holding space for birthing people at their most primal time during the birth process. However, many times, they need the physical support of an understanding precense. I come prepared with my tools to help guide the birthing family through the toughest times in labor. I use my rebozo, essential oils, meditation sounds, hypnobirthing audios, and pain-relieving techniques, along with my knowledge of different positions that helps ease and speed up the process. 
In times of doubt of progression or when road blocks come along, a doula with extensive knowledge of the physiology of birth can help the parents make an informed decision on the next step to take, whether it be so follow through with an intervention or refuse the treatment and ty something different.

Postpartum

Once the baby is born, parents' lives are completely transformed. A baby comes along with a life-changing schedule, a need for sleep, and a necessity for an abundance of patience. Sometimes, babies are very easy to comfort and take care of during their infancy. Other times, they are not so easy to manage between two parents who are totally new to the experience, and also sleep deprived. Regardless of the situation, there are many questions new parents have, whether it be about the amount baby is eating, what a diaper rash looks like, what to pack in a diaper bag, the best types of diapers, what bottles to use, how a good latch looks, what babywearing is, how a car seat needs to be installed, or if the baby's poop is a healthy color. A doula who is an expert in newborn care can help answer all these questions. And if they do not know the answer, they have a great providers list to refer out to.
Teaching parents the importance of self-care is also part of the role of a postpartum doula. Parents tend to engulf themselves by their new baby's schedule and put their own lives and relationships on the back-burner. As a doula, I talk about taking a few minutes to themselves to shower and have a good meal, and even go out to get a cup of coffee so they can feel refreshed. Having parents who have a stable relationship allows for a child to grow in a happy environment. We are also trained to look for signs of PPMD (Postpartum Mood Disorders) and know when to provide clients with referrals.